Reflecting On Three Years of a Journalism Degree

Reflecting On Three Years of a Journalism Degree

As you may know, earlier this year I completed my university degree. I studied Media Production: Journalism at York St John University and (kind of) graduated with a 2:1. I say kind of because my graduation has been cancelled…but more on that later.

You’re always told university is a time for you to come out of your shell. That is VERY true. I feel like I couldn’t function without Marty, especially in these trying times we’re having. As I mentioned in my last post, I went through a break up. Understandably I was a bit down in the dumps. You always need a best friend to help you pick yourself up and go on gin dates with. Plus it’s always handy when they work in a class bar too!

First Year Nerves

You have to know that I failed my AS levels. Miserably. They spelt EEUU. I didn’t let that stop me from getting onto a BTEC course of Creative Media and smashing it. I still can’t believe this was all three or four years ago, I feel very old. In 2017, I started York St John University with a fresh mindset and ready to start my new journey of graduating with a journalism degree.

Everyone says your first year at uni doesn’t count towards your final degree grade BUT it does give you a general idea of what you will graduate with. Weirdly my first year of university was pretty much identical to the course I did at college so it was all familiar to me. I met Marty in passing so we were friendly but we didn’t really talk much which, looking back, is an actual shame because he is just an angel. I missed a year of him being my best friend. I’m starting to realise this post is basically a love letter to the one and only Marty, but that’s not a bad thing.

Second Round of Journalism…Here We Gooooo!

Year two saw us face a HORRID exam. I don’t do well under exam pressure – I just forget everything the night before and panic. The worst part about it was it was on media law and ethics so it’s important shizzle for a trainee journo to know. While learning about this tough topic, we were introduced to ‘newsdays’, where we had to produce a radio and TV show each week, all based in York. The first semester was radio and the second was TV so we got the easiest one out of the way first.

Marty and I grew closer in second year and now you can’t even keep us apart – not even the fact that he lives miles away now. Every time we had to pair up – it’d start to be the same people together and it would always be me and him. The good thing about our friendship is we know when to switch to work mode – especially with big group assignments so we’re both all about supporting each other but if we disagreed, we would work it out in a calm manner and not fall out.

Even when I’m being the daftest person in the world – he can still manage crazy Niamh.

Third Year…Covid Hits.

The start of the third year of our degree was brilliant. We were all excited to start our dissertations and get them done in the first semester so we could focus on our final projects. I did my dissertation on social media and influencers…I had to reference my OWN website, haha! While writing this blog, I had a mini brain fart and completely forgot what I wrote my diss on, oops!

Obviously, Corona decided to hit us – which meant we finished our final three months from home in lockdown. It also meant Marty and I had to finish our final group project via Microsoft Teams, what a happy day that was when we said goodbye to that software. However, Corona didn’t just ruin our final months – it also cancelled our graduation. I am gutted. In fact that’s too light but I’ll leave you to come up with how I really feel.

Three years complete and all I got was my certificate in the post. No photos with the family and friends, no getting dressed up and heading to the Minster. Nothing. Mam, Dad and I are going to have a fancy meal when Corona allows us to so I can get the celebration I deserve. I guess it’s one of those things but I feel robbed, ha!

Niamh x



  1. 09/11/2020 / 18:13

    My brother missed out on his graduation as well. He still bought the cap and gown and we got pictures of course. but the ceremony was rather anticlimactic being virtual. we ended up playing the graduation song from our phones and he walked across our living room. haha! he graduated with a degree in media communication. So, I totally understand your pain of not walking across the stage. but it’s still worth celebrating!! congrats!! πŸ™‚

    • Niamh Darby
      09/11/2020 / 18:16

      Ah thank you! We got told in an email a few days before our certificates arrived. My original graduation date was meant to be in two weeks but it was postponed until Feb, but now it’s been fully cancelled. It’s a shame but I understand why uni have decided to cancel! Thanks for reading! X

  2. 09/11/2020 / 20:28

    I loved this post, especially seeing as I am planning on going to uni next year to study journalism! Marty sounds like a great friend πŸ™‚ x

    • Niamh Darby
      09/11/2020 / 20:35

      Ah brill! Honestly, it’s the best three years. You get given so many opportunities to build your portfolio! If you have any questions about the course or anything to do with journalism, I’m more than happy to help! Ah he’s the best, glad he’s always there when I need him! Thanks for reading! X

  3. 09/11/2020 / 22:30

    Congratulations on graduating! Your friend Marty sounds like a doll – as much as I love school friends, the friends you make as a young adult are great because you tend to pick them based off shared interests xx

    • Niamh Darby
      09/11/2020 / 22:31

      Thank you so much! Ah I have noticed the friendships I have made in my 20’s are going to last a lifetime! Thank you for reading! Xx

  4. 10/11/2020 / 01:39

    Congratulations on finishing! I’m sorry that you didn’t get the big graduation that you were working towards. I know that your celebrations won’t be the same when the COVID restrictions let up, however, you deserve to celebrate! Make the most of it and know that COVID can’t take away all the hard work that you’ve done to get to this point.

    • Niamh Darby
      10/11/2020 / 12:27

      Ah thank you! I do, it will happen one day! Thank you for reading! X

  5. 10/11/2020 / 15:26

    Congratulations on graduating! Especially during a pandemic! I hope you get the graduation you deserve once Covid is over. ❀️

    • Niamh Darby
      10/11/2020 / 15:42

      Thank you, I hope so too! Thanks for reading! X

  6. 10/11/2020 / 17:31

    Loved reading this as a fellow Journalism graduate! I graduated from Liverpool in 2019. Hope you get a graduation experience soon xx

    • Niamh Darby
      10/11/2020 / 17:34

      Ah thank you! It’s a tough degree, right? Congrats to you too! Thank you for reading! Xx

  7. 10/11/2020 / 17:40

    Oh I’m so sorry bloody covid stopped you from graduating, that must’ve been gutting πŸ™ I loved reading this though! You’re a fab writer & obsessed with your blog layout Also how QUICK do those three years go?! I graduated 3 years ago now- crazy! x

    • Niamh Darby
      10/11/2020 / 17:42

      I know! I know one day my proper celebration will happen! Thank you so much – I often wonder if I waffle on a bit too much, ha! Well, they do say time flies when you’re having fun! Thank you for reading! X

  8. Lauren
    10/11/2020 / 17:54

    I also have a journalism degree (journalism and English). I don’t use my degree for my job but I absolutely loved the university experience and still miss it now even though I graduated 7 years ago now. I’m sorry you didn’t get to finish university in the proper way and that you didn’t get a graduation, you should definitely celebrate when you can!

    • Niamh Darby
      10/11/2020 / 17:56

      I currently work in retail so I don’t see that disappearing anytime soon so I’m always on the lookout for jobs that include a hint of journalism! Ah, I cannot wait to have my proper celebration! Thank you for reading! X

  9. Maddie Szczerba
    10/11/2020 / 17:55

    Congratulations! I’m currently studying Public Relations, but I have taken a few journalism classes for my major and it’s definitely an interesting subject. The topic of your dissertation sounds so interesting, it’s great that you managed to finish strong during the pandemic!

    • Niamh Darby
      10/11/2020 / 17:58

      That sounds interesting – I hope you do well! It was interesting to write about but towards the end I was pleased to send it off! Thank you for reading!

  10. 10/11/2020 / 21:44

    It’s such a shame you had to miss out on your graduation because of stupid Covid! I loved reading your reflection on your time in university! x

    Lucy |

    • Niamh Darby
      10/11/2020 / 22:28

      Thank you! X

  11. 11/11/2020 / 09:16

    I so wish I had gone to University when I finished sixth form. It’s literally my biggest regret! Although I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for Uni students this year with so much disruption to their studies. It’s a shame your graduation was cancelled obviously but congrats for graduating, especially during such a tough year! xxx

  12. 12/11/2020 / 01:51

    Oh, I’m so sorry you had to miss out on your graduation! I hope you can celebrate properly when this madness is all over. Beautiful post!!

    • Niamh Darby
      12/11/2020 / 10:23

      Thank you! X

  13. 14/11/2020 / 16:05

    My boyfriend finished his degree this year like you, and its such a shame to finish a degree like that. I finish mine next year and its looking like it will be the same πŸ™

    • Niamh Darby
      14/11/2020 / 23:07

      Ah, that’s a bit rubbish – I say get a bottle of your favourite gin or wine in and finish with a bang like I did! Good luck! X

  14. mdrnminimalists
    14/11/2020 / 23:06

    Congratulations on earning your degree! Exams are never the best – I am the same with pressure. It is a no go for me. It is great that you and Marty got so close :). It is a bummer that you had to go virtual, but I am glad that you still finished it!!

    Nancy ✨

    • Niamh Darby
      14/11/2020 / 23:08

      Ah thank you so much! Yes, exams are not my best friend! Thank you for reading! X

    • Niamh Darby
      15/11/2020 / 17:40

      Thank you so much for reading! Xx

  15. Kayleigh Zara
    22/11/2020 / 17:27

    I’m so sorry to hear that Corona meant that you couldn’t have a graduation that really sucks and I can’t even imagine how tough your final few months would have been! The first two years sound like they were really enjoyable x

    • Niamh Darby
      22/11/2020 / 19:08

      It was such a blast so it’s a tad annoying that we can’t finsh it the ‘proper’ way. One day hopefully! X

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